DIY Fall Wreath & Garland Ideas

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Adding seasonal touches to your home is half the fun of decorating. Those exterior holiday lights along your roof are nice, but a decorative wreath on your door in the fall and spring can be as charming as it is unique and colorful. The same can be said for the addition of a garland to your entry, staircase or fireplace. Wreaths and garlands aren't that difficult to construct, either. With a few materials and a sense of fun, you can make one in an hour or less.

How to Make A Fall Wreath

Start With A Base - Wreaths are typically constructed using a base of form. Other common choices are:

  • Wire
  • Styrofoam
  • Grapevines
  • Pine boughs (real or artificial)
  • Straw

In a pinch, you can even use cardboard as a wreath base. The idea is to cover the base with other, more attractive materials. If the base is pretty all by itself, you can even cover just part of it and leave portions exposed for a more rustic look. This works particularly well with straw and grapevine wreath bases.

Add Decorations - Decorative materials are then affixed to the base. Most conventional wreaths are round, but you'll find specialty wreaths shaped like hearts, or in oval or freeform shapes, too. Wreath elements can be attached to their bases using:

  • Twine
  • Wire
  • Ribbon
  • Floral tape
  • Pins
  • Picks (special floral pins)

All of these materials can be found easily online or at your local variety store or craft outlet.

Assemble The Wreath - Most wreathes are assembled in sections using this simple process:

  1. Measure the wreath and gather your decorative materials.
  2. Place a wire hanging loop on the back of the wreath base. It'll be easier to do this before you start adding decorative elements.
  3. Divide small materials you plan on using into separate, attractive bunches. Think of these bunches as little bouquets. If you're making an herb wreath, for instance, choose five to eight herb stems about 5 inches long (for an 8 inch wreath), and use a length of wire (twine, tape or ribbon) to secure the base of the bouquet about an inch up from the cut stems. Leave an extra 8 to 10 inches of wire attached to the bouquet.
  4. Place your “bunch” on the wreath base, and use the extra length of wire to secure it in place. The base should not be visible behind the bouquet. If it is, you need more material in your bouquet.
  5. Measure how many bouquet sections you'll need to go around the wreath completely, and begin assembling them.
  6. Affix each bouquet below the last one on the wreath, concealing the cut stems of the bouquet just above it.
  7. Work your way around the circle, and finish with the last bouquet slightly overlapping the first.
  8. If you want to place a ribbon bow on the top or bottom of the wreath, leave an open space and flip the orientation of the last bouquet section before the gap so the bouquet pieces on either side of the opening face each other. Now add the bow.

How To Make A Fall Garland

Assembling a garland is similar to assembling a wreath, but instead of using a form or backing, the decorative bunches are simply wired to a piece of twine or string. The closer the leaves, twigs, herbs, pumpkins, etc. are on the string, the fuller the garland will appear.

The ends of the string should be looped and knotted to make hanging the garland easier. Shorter garlands can be assembled in one piece without much trouble, but if the garland you have in mind will exceed 6 feet or so in length, try assembling it in two shorter sections, and then knot them together.

Wreath & Garland Options

As decorations go, wreaths and garlands are amazingly flexible. We do have some hints and suggestions, though:

  • If you're using fresh flowers, invest in water reservoirs or bases designed to hold moisture. Your wreath will look better, longer. You can find them at any floral supply outlet.
  • Assemble herb wreaths using fresh herbs and let them dry in place. Most herbs become brittle when they dry, and this is the easiest way to avoid broken stems and leaves.
  • Always gather more materials than you think you’ll need. Wreaths and swags typically need more coverage than you expect.

Where To Hang Wreaths & Garlands

Wreaths aren't just for outdoors anymore, either:

  • Add an herb wreath to your pantry for convenient snipping.
  • Make a wreath with your child and then install it on the door to his or her room.
  • Hang a dried flower wreath on a family room window.
  • Install a lavender wreath inside a closet for natural moth control.
  • Loop a flower garland along one of your curtain rods.
  • Place a ribbon wreath on a mirror in your boudoir.
  • Add a scented rosebud wreath to your bathroom wall.
  • Add a garland to the front of your bar.
  • Place a garland along a bookshelf.

How To Hang Wreaths & Garlands

Wreaths and garlands can be a snap to mount or hang when you:

  • Use removable mounting putty
  • Employ over the door hangars
  • Use teacup or eyelet hooks
  • Thread a hanging wire through the spyhole in your front door.
  • Replace installed wall art with seasonal wreaths and use existing hardware
Last Updated: August 23, 2012
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About Sara Elliot Sara Elliott is a freelance copywriter and dedicated blogger. Her popular gardening, cooking and crafting blog, The Herb Gardener, was cited by The Wall Street Journal for its fun and frugal tips. Sara has a degree in English, and you can find her health, crafting, and lifestyle pieces on sites like DiscoveryHealth.com, HowStuffWorks.com, Savvi.com and TLC.com.

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